SENATOR COLLINS' RELEASES STATEMENT ON DDG-1000
Senators Collins and John Warner Urge Navy to Continue Support of the Program
Senator Susan Collins, who is a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, commented today on an unconfirmed news report that the Navy plans to discontinue the Zumwalt Class DDG-1000 program:
"The decision by the House Armed Services Committee to slash funding for the DDG-1000 has triggered a review within the Department of Defense on the future of the new destroyer. During the past several weeks, I have had extensive discussions with the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Roughead, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and Defense Assistant Secretary John Young about the future of the program, which Navy officials have repeatedly testified provides much-needed capabilities. Funding for a third destroyer was in the FY09 budget request sent to Congress by the Navy. The Senate version of the Defense Authorization legislation fully funds the $2.6 billion request, while the House version fails to provide funding to build any surface combatant at all, thus creating a terrible gap in work for BIW.
"If the Navy is considering changing its shipbuilding requirements, I would expect the CNO to work with me and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to ensure a stable, well-funded shipbuilding plan that meets the need for expanded capabilities and keeps our skilled shipbuilding workforce strong."
In addition, Senators Collins and John Warner (R-VA), former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former Navy Secretary, sent the following letter to the Navy urging support for the DDG-1000 program. A text of the letter follows:
July 10, 2008
The Honorable Donald C. Winter
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-1000
Dear Secretary Winter:
We write to urge your continued support for the President's FY2009 Budget request for the Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) destroyer shipbuilding program.
Support for this request is critical to the timely delivery of needed capabilities to our Navy through the DDG-1000 and future generation surface combatants.
DDG-1000 is the technology engine for the Navy's Family of Ships plan. This plan leverages the technologies developed on DDG-1000 to efficiently and effectively provide technologies to the newest Aircraft Carriers and Amphibious ships, and provides the affordable path to CG(X). Supporting the program-of-record schedule for DDG-1000 will enable the Navy to capitalize on the $11 billion in RDT&E already invested and move the fleet into the 21st century in a cost efficient manner.
The systems and capabilities on DDG-1000 provide a robust core for the next generation cruiser, CG(X), systems with a combat system that can be modified to add ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities to the existing baseline. The critical supporting systems, including power distribution, space and weight, are all designed to rapidly grow to meet evolving BMD requirements in the existing hull.
Disruptions to the procurement process would not only compromise the capabilities of our Navy, but also increase procurement costs and destabilize our shipbuilding capacity. This program-of-record was approved through the DoD's acquisition process and is needed to fulfill military requirements. The DDG-1000 industrial base spans 48 states and more than 1,000 industry partners, the majority of which were selected through full and open competition. The industrial base has leveraged the Navy's and its own investment to design, produce and deliver this needed modern capability. Not fully funding the program would threaten the skill-sets and knowledge-base of our highly dedicated shipbuilding and ship systems workforce. Close to 10,000 jobs across the shipbuilding and ship systems industrial base could be negatively affected.
We therefore urge that the full FY09 President's budget request for DDG-1000 be supported without restrictions. We look forward to working with you.
John Warner Susan M. Collins
United States Senator United States Senator